Date Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
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Supporters of the Thistletown Regional Centre held a second rally Friday to save the Etobicoke children's mental health facility, which is slated to close within two years.
“The centre was already having a fundraiser, so members of Families and Friends Against the Closing of Thistletown showed up in our T-shirts,” organizer Bruce McIntosh told CityNews.ca on Friday.
“It’s absurd to close this place down.”
Thistletown, a provincially-funded facility, serves more than 400 children and youths with mental health, behavioural and developmental disabilities. There are about 15 people who live at the facility.
Minister of Children and Youth Services Eric Hoskins announced on March 19 that the Ontario government will close the centre over the next two years, and patients will be transferred to community agencies.
“What we’ve tried to tell the minister is that it’s a ridiculous thing to say,” McIntosh said.
“The reason these children are here is because community agencies can’t serve them. They have complex and high needs problems...They can be aggressive, self-injurious.”
CityNews spoke to one parent who sends her autistic son Billy to Thistledown for weekend programs – click here to see the Inside Story with Avery Haines.
The facility was also threatened with closure in 1995, but that plan collapsed under parental pressure.
(Please note that CMHO staff does not reply to comments that are posted on news stories.)